Sachs Distinguished Lecture – May 3, 2017

| April 17, 2017

Action! Equity and Social Justice:

Many Different Voices, Cultures and Languages in Science Teacher Education



Professor Mary M. Atwater

University of Georgia


Sachs Distinguished Lecturer

Teachers College

Columbia University


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

136 Thompson Hall

4:00 p.m.


This interactive session provides an opportunity to discuss actions necessary for teachers to engage learners in understanding natural phenomena in ways that will enable them to change their lives and help others to change their lives for the better and to be involved in STEM-related careers if they so choose.  “Better” means different things to different individuals and different groups of people.  Quality science might not mean “standardized science” because “standardized science” might not lead to equity and social justice.

      In this discussion, we need different voices from different cultures speaking different languages, so that ultimately learners can use their science knowledge and skills to realize their potentials and make their lives better.  As we are aware, one of the most influential factors in learners’ lives is the teacher, so we must include science teacher education in any discussion we have about science education.  We must attend to the purposes of science teacher education, the preparation of teachers of science, science teacher education curricula, the assessment and evaluation of preservice science teachers and teachers of science, and policies surrounding science teacher education.

Finally, we must move forward so that science schooling, both formal and informal, enhances science teacher education in innovative ways using both old and novel means.  This interactive session is the beginning of the conversation, not the end.  It is a call to action, re-energizing us to promote better and quality science for equity and social justice.